There is no denying that air fryers have become extremely popular in recent years. Most of us cook at home regularly or simply enjoy cooking are seeking tools that will improve our cooking. Whether it is an air fryer or an electric stove, we all want something to make cooking faster, easier, or more delicious. If you have ever wondered what an air fryer is and how it works, keep reading because this article will break down everything you need to know about.
What Is An Air Fryer?
The air fryer is essentially a more powerful countertop convection oven. It bakes and roasts as usual, but what sets it apart is that its heating elements are on the top, along with a large, powerful fan, all of which work together to produce crispy food in the least amount of time. The tiny appliance, which Philips Electronics Company patented, promises to replicate the results of deep-frying using just hot air and little or no oil. Another benefit of air frying is that it is extremely easy to clean. The baskets and racks for air fryers can be washed in the dishwasher. In addition, it will get into all the cracks, allowing air to flow.
How Does Air Fryer Work?
In general, air fryers are quick to use and can heat frozen foods and a variety of fresh foods. Food is placed in a perforated or wire basket in an air fryer, ensuring that all sides of the food are exposed to the hot circulating air, cooking it thoroughly and quickly while crisping it along the way. To assist the food crisp up evenly, you may need to flip or turn it halfway through the cooking period. The cooking durations and temperatures normally range from 5 to 25 minutes at 200° to 250°C, depending on what you cook.
You will need a small amount of oil to help the food crisp up. Vegetable oil or canola oil is recommended since it has a greater smoke point than other oils; thus, it can withstand the intense heat in an air fryer. You will not obtain the same amount of deep golden brown as if you used a deep fryer, but you would have the benefit of fast-cooked food with far less oil and fat.
What Can You Cook Using An Air Fryer?
From the name alone, we know that an air fryer is used for deep-fried foods like frozen or homemade finger snacks. For example, frozen French fries, mozzarella sticks, and nuggets can all be used. But if you prefer to cook your finger foods from scratch, try air-fry sweet potato fries or even pickles.
While many of the best air-fryer recipes are for deep-fried items, other foods work well with the air-fryer. For example, you can use the air fryer for cooking a variety of dishes. Gently season with salt and herbs, and spices of your choice. If you stick to dry seasonings, you get less moisture meat which results in much crispier meat. One extra tip is to wait until the last few minutes of cooking to drizzle the meat with barbecue sauce or honey.
Apart from that, air-frying vegetables is a fantastic choice, especially if you are only cooking for one or two people. Broccoli florets, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts are just a few of the vegetables you can try. Vegetables must be mixed in oil before being placed in the air fryer. Salt them as well but use a smaller amount than normal. By then, you will be able to enjoy crisp vegetables with a variety of flavors. However, leave out the leafy greens if you use the air fryer.
Finally, air fryers are ideal for single-serving desserts such as cookies and banana fritters. Whether lava cakes or doughnuts, you can make them all in an air fry if you freeze the liquid batter first.
Should You Buy An Air Fryer?
With so many models on the market, the cost of this popular appliance has decreased in recent years. Still, buying an air fryer is only worthwhile if you frequently prepare fried dishes. There are few air fryers on the market that can fry, bake, grill, and roast your food while also promising better results. Air frying not only produces better results than oven frying, but it also saves time and may even save money.
Furthermore, the beauty of this device is that it only requires a small amount of oil. You only need a teaspoon or two of oil to improve the texture and flavor. This will save you a lot of calories and saturated fat compared to traditional fried foods. If you buy an air fryer to replace or complement your oven, you will not notice much difference in the amount of oil you consume.
However, there is something else to consider about. If you enjoy cooking for a larger crowd, you will need to make multiple batches or invest in a larger model, which may take up a lot of kitchen space. Plus, if you do not purchase the right model, you could get into trouble because some have one temperature setting. You should be able to decide whether the air fryer has a lot to offer by weighing the advantages and unique features of the air fryer.